How Bad Tires Increase the Risk of Car Accidents
Most of us take our car tires for granted and rarely consider them until declining tread quality finally captures our attention or we have a flat tire or a blowout. Sudden tire blowouts are frightening and dangerous. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, tire-related crashes caused 664 fatalities in 2020 alone. When tires are the only thing between your car and the road, tire quality is a pertinent part of keeping yourself and your family safe.
Blowouts aren’t the only danger bad tires pose to you and your family on the road, tires impact driver safety in many ways. What’s worse, even if you meticulously maintain your own car’s tires, other drivers on the road may not. Accidents caused by the tire failures of other vehicles may pose a great risk to you and your loved ones.
If you’ve had an accident related to bad tires, a skilled West Jordan car accident attorney may be able to help you with your claim for compensation whether the accident was caused by tire manufacturing defects, under-inflated tires, tire-care negligence of another driver, or simply from your own bald tires.
Driving Dangers From Bald Tires
Tires are expensive and many drivers put off buying new ones until a flat tire or blowout forces the issue. That means that many drivers on the road are driving with worn or bald tires. Tire treads function to help the car maintain a grip on the road surface and to channel water away from the tire’s contact point to avoid hydroplaning. Some dangers from worn or bald tires include the following:
- Hydroplaning on wet roads causes loss of braking and steering control
- Sliding on icy roads from lack of traction
- Air pressure loss from thinning tires leads to underinflated tires with poor road grip
- Blowouts from heat buildup due to lack of air channeling from tread depth
- Increased chance of punctures causing slow leaks or sudden blowouts
- Increased stopping distances
The tread design of tires serves many important purposes in driving safety. Driving with compromised tread quality means driving with compromised safety.
Driving on Defective or Recalled Tires
Occasionally tire manufacturers issue recall notices for tires they’ve already marketed and sold. Defective tires sometimes cause devastating car accidents. Even the most well-known manufacturers have faced and lost litigation over the sale of defective tires later implicated in major car accidents. Some defective tires have exploded during inflation, causing serious injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a website that lists the latest updated information on tire recalls so you can check on the safety of your own tires at any time. Some common accidents caused by defective tires include:
- Running or sliding off the road
- Loss of control from a tire blowout
- Rollovers—one of the largest causes of accident fatalities
Signs of Defective or Worn Tires
Drivers should occasionally check their tires for signs of defects or heavy wear. Look for the following signs of a problem:
- Blisters or bulges in a tire
- Unevenly wearing tread
- Unusual vibrations during driving
- Cuts or splits in the tire sidewalls
You can also perform the penny test by placing a penny into a tire tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head or more of the penny, it’s time to purchase new tires. Take advantage of your tire warranty to replace defective tires.
If you think your accident resulted from defective tires, speak to an accident attorney experienced in this area for guidance on your claim.